parts of a sunflower

The sunflower is made up of different parts

Contemplating sunflowers usually gives us joy thanks to their large size and their vivid yellow color. It's hard to look at them and not think about the beautiful hot summer days. Without a doubt, these flowers are among the most famous, But would you know what the parts of a sunflower are?

Although it is true that the fame of these plants has nothing to envy to that of other flowers, very few people really know what parts a sunflower is made up of. To get you out of doubt, We will comment on each one of them and reveal some very curious facts about these vegetables.

What is the sunflower and its parts?

The parts of a sunflower are the roots, leaves, stem and head.

Before talking about the parts of a sunflower, first we are going to explain what this vegetable is. It is a plant whose main characteristic is its heliotropic property. This means that it always orients itself facing the sun, while maintaining a diurnal course. Therefore, we can observe how throughout a day, the flower of this vegetable turns slowly, chasing the great star that illuminates our solar system. It is for this reason that it receives the name of “sunflower”.

This beautiful yellow flower is native to North America, but over time it has also moved to Peru and Mexico. Today it is grown in many places on the planet, including the European continent. It can be said that the sunflower can only grow in dry and sunny soils, because its roots reach very deep layers of the earth.

The sunflower is a very striking annual plant due to its size and its beautiful flower. It is capable of reaching a height of up to three meters. It is made up of different parts, which we will discuss below.


Let's start with a basic element of plants: Roots. It is that part that fixes the plant on the ground. In the case of the sunflower, there is a main root and several secondary ones. They are usually strong and quite fibrous. The roots of sunflowers are capable of reaching a depth of up to one meter below the surface.

Right in the area where the main root meets the stem, the sunflower is weakest. For this reason, fertilizers should not be applied to that area, otherwise we could harm the plant, which could end up rotting.

sunflower with pipes
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Recommendations for growing sunflowers


As for the stem of the sunflower, it is usually very straight, thick and robust. Its growth is continuous and can reach a height of up to three meters. It has no branches, but it does It has stiff hairs that cover it to protect it. At the end there is a circular widening, very similar to a plate. The central part is always facing the sun. It should be noted that this part of the sunflower is quite susceptible to weevils called stem weevils.

You probably already know that the famous pipes and also sunflower oil for cooking are obtained from this flower. But did you know that the stem of this plant can also be used? Yes, for other purposes. Sunflower stems can be used as fuel. In addition, with them you can create textile fibers and paper pulp.


Among the parts of a sunflower are also the leaves. These generally stand out for their large size and heart shape. The edge of the same is serrated, which is quite reminiscent of a saw. As in the stem, the leaves are protected by small stiff hairs that completely cover their surface. These little hairs are green, which looks much darker at the top.

There are some species of these vegetables whose leaves are much smaller, the size of a coin. In contrast, other types of sunflowers have leaves as large as a human head. This difference depends mainly on the species that we cultivate. What all sunflower leaves do have in common, regardless of their type, is that its color is dark green.

What is the inside of the sunflower called?

The sunflower is made up of many small flowers

Surely you have already realized that we have failed to comment on the most important part of the sunflower: the head. In botany it is called a "chapter" and is really a type of inflorescence. Contrary to what we might think, the sunflower is not a single large flower, but rather it is made up of many small and tuberous flowers. All of them are located crowded on top of a flattened receptacle and are known as florets. Together, these florets create a spiral-shaped pattern, thus forming the large and characteristic head of the sunflower. In total there are two different types of flowers that make up the chapter of this plant:

  • Tubular flowers: These flowers are the ones found in the center of the inflorescence. Its color is yellowish brown. Also, they are hermaphrodites, which means they have both male and female organs. It should also be noted that each of them has five stamens that together form the androecium.
  • ray flowers: The ligulate flowers are the marginal ones. Their corolla is yellow and they have a short tube that extends, giving them a shape similar to a tongue. Unlike the previous ones, these flowers are sterile and do not have stamens or pistils. The function of the ligulate flowers is to attract pollinating insects.


The sunflower seeds, better known as pipes, could not be missing either. These are embedded right in the center of the head. The pipes are not only a delicious snack, but they are also used to extract oil. They are basically a kind of achene considered as a dry fruit. When shelling the sunflower seeds, the pipe remains, which is edible and which is also the nucleus of this plant.

At first glance sunflowers look like simple large flowers, but in reality they are plants that harbor many curiosities.

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